Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rick Porcello Throws Seven Scoreless as Tigers Maintain Central Lead; Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey Spark Giants over Braves

Players of the Day for Friday, June 14, 2013

American League

Rick Porcello
While the Indians and Royals each won their third straight, the Detroit Tigers stayed 4 1/2 clear of Cleveland and five up on KC with a 4-0 win over Minnesota in the opener of a three-game series at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Rick Porcello (4-3) fanned four of the first five batters he faced en route to seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and no walks, striking out five.

The Twins never got a runner past second base as Porcello and a trio of relievers kept them in check the entire nine innings. Porcello finished strong, setting down the last eight batters he faced in order. Porcello threw 63 of 94 pitches for strikes, getting first strikes on 16 of the 23 batters he opposed.

Detroit - winners of six of their last eight games - scored all of its runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by Prince Fielder's two-run double which opened the scoring. Fielder has 54 RBI, fourth-best in the AL.

Game two of the three-game series is set for 7:15 pm EDT, Saturday night.

National League

7 Scoreless
Posey: 3 Doubles
San Francisco took the first of a three-game set at NL East leader, Atlanta, off a solid pitching performance by Madison Bumgarner, who improved to 6-4 with seven innings of scoreless ball in the 6-0 Giants' win.

Bumgarner struck out ten, issued just one walk and allowed two hits over his seven innings, throwing 69 of 108 pitches for strikes. The Giants built a lead with single runs in each of the first three innings, adding another in the fifth and two more in the seventh.

Buster Posey doubled three times in five at-bats, scoring in the third and fifth innings and driving in a run in the seventh, raising his average to a stout .313.

The win left the Giants 1 1/2 behind Arizona in the NL West. Colorado is 2 1/2 out, with San Diego four back, in the most contentious race in the majors.

Atlanta's loss was their fourth straight, but no teams in the division seem capable of taking advantage. The Braves continue to lead the East by 5 1/2 over Washington and 6 1/2 over the Phillies. The loss was just the eighth in 29 home games for the Braves.

San Francisco will look to upend the Braves again on Saturday, in a 4:05 pm EDT afternoon start.

Today's Trivia: As of today, who is the current active NL leader in batting average? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: On October 4, 1986, Minnesota's Greg Gagne hit inside-the-park homers in consecutive at-bats at the Metrodome, in a 7-3 win over the White Sox.

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